Alex already has a dinger. Pettitte on the mound. Comment away on all the action from the Dome….
Alright, I’ll say it…we suck. Very good chance this is the year we miss the playoffs. Pitching is average at best. Hitters are getting better but still not stepping up when needed. 3-4 road trip. Wang hasn’t won in a month. Farnsworthless is atrocious as a setup guy. Joba, even if he is as good starting, isn’t going to turn this thing around. We need some moves. Period.
At least football starts soon…and then hockey.
No, the Yankees don’t suck, they’ve just been very mediocre to this point, and a lot of that has to do with worst-case scenarios involving the entirety of the bench, Cano, Posada, Hughes, Kennedy, and several bullpen arms (Bruney and Albaladejo…remember them?). Jeter has severely underperformed as well. That has been offset a bit with unexpected contributions by Giambi, Rasner, and even Edwar a little bit, but not nearly enough to overcome the unexpected horribleness.
Posada comes back this week, giving the offense another transcendental push. There are no less than three very high-ceilinged bullpen arms (top-rated college closers all of them) on the verge of the major leagues. I think that, as always, the insane amount of talent on this team will out.
Chances that they’ll make the playoffs this year are actually much higher than last year, and even in 2005, besides the reason that the Yankees are in a better place this year than last, but simply because the AL as a whole is either worse, or a lot more even. That means the wild card doesn’t exactly need to have 90 wins. It’s been frustrating…it’s been frustrating 3 out of the past four years including this one (and I remember a good amount of frustration, sadness and panic in ’06 where Sheffield and Matsui were out for most of the season). Not every Yankee team can glide through the season like the ’98 or ’03 versions.
I just can’t give up on this team in June, or declare them a sucky team for the rest of the year after 36% of the season.
Who said anything about giving up? They just suck for all the reasons you just said…
After seeing the bullpen blow a chance to get to Mo, do you YF’s think this puts significantly more pressure on Chamberlain to succeed in the rotation? Is there an attitude of “well Joba had BETTER do well in the rotation since Mo’s our only reliable arm in the bullpen” in the Empire? If this was happening with Papelbon, where we were blowing saves while transitioning him to the rotation, that’s how I would feel.
Chances that they’ll make the playoffs this year are actually much higher than last year, and even in 2005, besides the reason that the Yankees are in a better place this year than last,
They may be better off standings-wise this year, but I think the problems that exist this season are a lot more troublesome than in the previous two years. In the past it was offensive players who are normally good (Jeter, Abreu, Damon and Giambi) that were dragging the team down. This year the offense ranks 7th in the AL (not too shabby), but the pitching ranks 10th. Wang will improve as the season goes on, and Pettitte is still good but regresses with age. But the youngsters are all struggling. Chamberlain pitching well can help this, but if not these are still problems that don’t look like they’ll be easily fixed. And the bullpen needs a huge makeover if it’s going to hold a lead late in games. Farnsworth isn’t going to do as a set-up man.
Rasner could continue to pitch excellently and the Yanks could find a few great bullpen arms in the farm system, but I’m not sure how likely any of this is. I think the Yankees team is weaker long-term right now than it has been in the past. In the past they were always the “sleeping giant” waiting to wake up and explode, but they just don’t feel like that now.
“After seeing the bullpen blow a chance to get to Mo, do you YF’s think this puts significantly more pressure on Chamberlain to succeed in the rotation?”
No. The problem is not with the current strategy but with the player chosen to implement it. Farnsworth is not reliable.
“I think the Yankees team is weaker long-term right now than it has been in the past.”
Were you watching in 2005? Two words: Small. Chacon.
The difference this year is that the Yanks have a lot of pitching depth in the minors – starting and relieving. By September, Melacon and Horne will be in the mix.
The problem is not with the current strategy but with the player chosen to implement it. Farnsworth is not reliable.
Yes, but if Chamberlain is watching a game situation that he would undoubtedly be pitching in, and the reliever brought in promptly blows it, you don’t think that adds any pressure? Certainly he at least thinks about it, right?
Were you watching in 2005? Two words: Small. Chacon.
You mean the Shawn Chacon who had a 2.85 ERA and went 7-3? Or the Aaron Small who went 10-0 with an ERA of 3.20? Are those the two pitchers you’re referring to?
“Certainly he at least thinks about it, right?”
I have no idea. He has a job to do. And the 8th inning (Edwar, Cox, Melancon, Robertson) will sort itself out by the end of the year.
“Are those the two pitchers you’re referring to?”
Yes. Point being that team was in much worse shape before those two (and Wang and Cano) arrived. This year they have many more options, and all (Joba, Hughes, IPK, Horne, the relievers above) with a much higher long-term upside. That’s not “weaker” – now or in the future – by any stretch.
I have no idea. He has a job to do.
The 8th inning might sort itself out, but it might not either. And sure Joba has a job to do, and having added pressure makes that job more difficult to do. It’s easy to pretend we’re in a vacuum where “he has a job to do” is a legitimate point, but it’s not. He’s playing in New York city, arguably the toughest city to play the sport in, and it’s asinine to pretend like there’s no pressure.
This year they have many more options, and all (Joba, Hughes, IPK, Horne, the relievers above) with a much higher long-term upside.
But that’s the problem: so far none of these prospects (with the exception of Rasner) have shown any success. Hughes and IPK are looking horrible, and Joba is a giant question mark. I’ve said several times on this blog that I think Hughes will do well eventually, and that I believe Joba will succeed in the rotation, but none of us knows this. Horne is looking good right now (by the way, who is “Melacon”? I can’t find him anywhere), but that doesnt automatically equate to MLB succees (see: Igawa, Kei). There are plenty of Yankees fans who agree with me: I’m not just a pessimistic SF enjoying the schadenfreude.
How do you measure “added pressure”? Just cause you say so, doesn’t make it so.
“so far none of these prospects (with the exception of Rasner) have shown any success”
And surely you know it’s premature to make definitive judgments for pitchers under 23 years old. Still, they’re much better off – now and long-term – than they were in 2005 (and I’d add 2006 and 2007 too). That’s the only thing I was responding to.
Coming back from TJ but will be in AAA soon as he was a college closer for Arizona
Feel free feeling the schadenfreude. It feels good, doesn’t it? :)
As a SF I must admit I AM enjoying the shadenfreude, but I’m trying to keep it in the back of my mind ;-)
You can’t “measure” added pressure, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Weren’t we all talking the other day about high-profile pitchers struggling in New York? I think the pressure has something to do with it.
And I agree that it’s premature to make definitive judgements for pitchers under 23 years old: again I’ve stated several times that I, personally, believe that Hughes will eventually do well and Joba will succeed as a starter. And certainly these prospects make the Yankees better off long-term than in the past. But this conversation was about this season and whether or not the Yankees can bounce back for 2008. I believe that is less likely, right now, than it has been in the past.
And again, I think Hughes and Joba will be successful major league starters. I just don’t see it happening so quickly with Hughes, and am not sure what to expect from Joba.
As soon as Hughes and Kennedy tanked this year and then got hurt on top of it, the pitching has been the primary problem and the issue that was clearly to be the most enduring. Pitching does not lend itself to quick fixes – especially when fully 2/5 to 3/5 of the rotation is unreliable – or even reliably terrible. The Yanks clearly can still make the post-season this year, but whether this year or next, I don’t see them going anywhere special without at least 1-2 of their young pitchers stepping up, plus a revitalized bullpen. That’s a lot of needs to be filled. Rasner has been impressive but I think there is only so long we can ride that. And Joba is still to be seen. Certainly interesting times in Yankeeland, if not particularly inspiring.
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